In 2011, an estimated 751,131 aggravated assaults occurred in the United States – 241.1 offences per 100,000 people. The numbers in 2011 went down by 3.9% when compared to data from 2010 and 15.7% when compared to the 2002 estimate. In 2015, the rate of reported aggravated assault in the US was 237.8 cases per 100,000 of the nation’s population.
Civil Assault and Battery Cases
When a person commits assault and battery, criminal charges are not the only penalties that they can face for the offense. Apart from any criminal prosecution, an assault and battery victim can file a civil suit against the assailant. While criminal prosecution serves to penalize the guilty party, or defendant, for the illegal acts they committed, civil cases are designed to help victims by compensating them for the injuries sustained from the assault.
Elements of Civil Battery
The elements you need to establish and prove a case of civil battery are generally the same as those required for criminal battery. In a successful civil battery suit, the plaintiff needs to prove the presence of the following elements:
- The intentional application of force to, or touching of, the body of another individual
- In an offensive or harmful manner
- Without the consent of the victim
According to the Restatement of Torts, there does not have to be intent on the assailant’s part to have physical contact with the victim for civil battery to occur. The assailant must merely intend to cause or invoke fear, or apprehension, of possible physical harm in his victim. For instance, if it was the defendant’s intention to scare the plaintiff with a swing of a baseball bat without hitting them, but the plaintiff was hit accidentally by the bat, there would be case for civil battery.
Elements of Civil Assault
Unlike civil battery, civil assault does not require the defendant to have actual physical contact with the victim. In a civil assault case, the plaintiff needs to prove the presence of the following elements:
- An intentional threat or attempt to cause injury to another individual
- With an apparent ability to inflict the injury
- Which creates a reasonable apprehension of offensive attack or physical harm in the victim
As long as the victim is in a state of fear of imminent contact, there is need for actual physical injury or contact to actually occur. For example, if it was the defendant’s intention to merely scare the plaintiff with the swing of a bat near them, and the plaintiff feared physical injury, there would be a case for civil assault.
If you or a loved one was a victim of assault and battery, you should consider seeking the counsel of a personal injury attorney at the famed Rosenberg, Minc, Falloff, & Wolff Law Firm. The first meeting is free and even if we take your case you pay us nothing up front. In fact, even we win the case and it is settled you do not have to write us a check we only take a percentage of the settlement amount.
Call us at 212-697-9280. Let RMFW get a jump on this case. What is your side of the story?